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Girl Brothers

Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman may best be remembered as members of Prince's Revolution.

While still recording new music together, they have also been composing for film and television,

Come for the funk, stay for the Aerosmith easter egg inserted into one of their songs, but put on some sort of pads or protective gear, as these women are about to kick your ass.
posted by timsteil on Apr 4, 2014 - 6 comments

 

Quincy Jones And Bill Cosby: The Original Jam Sessions, and remixes

Later this year will mark the 45th anniversary of Bill Cosby's first self-titled sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show. Ten years ago, the original jam sessions were released, which are notable for the "various collection of notables who steal the show with contributions at various points." Pianist Les McCann, sax man Ernie Watts, and guitarist Arthur Adams get things going on "Groovy Gravy," Tom Scott shows some legit chops on "Toe Jam," while Jimmy Smith offers sampling of his Hammond B3 on the interlude "Jimmy Cookin' On Top." If seeing Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby get top billing confused you, the album credits reference their roles, which are not front-and-center, except for some vocal improv by Cosby on "Hikky-Burr." You can hear more tracks on Grooveshark, and if you're into more of that modern dance remixery, you might (also) enjoy The New Mixes, Vol. 1, which can also be sampled on Grooveshark.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 24, 2014 - 10 comments

Don't Talk

Queen's 1982 dance funk single "Body Language" represented a rare move away from their glam stadium anthems into a more spare, disco-driven beat inter-cut with a moaning Freddie Mercury. The accompanying video, full of exposed flesh and suggestive lyrics, was deemed inappropriate for US TV and was one of the first music videos barred from MTV.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 14, 2014 - 56 comments

The northern soul and R&B sounds of Lenis Guess, straight outta Norfolk

Lenis Guess was one of the pioneers in the Norfolk recording scene. This self-taught vocalist and musician was cranking out records from his 35th Street studio in Norfolk for many artists, including his own and himself. This, producer, singer, musician, performer was at the forefront of the Norfolk sound. With songs like,I was Born to Be A Drummer,“ his funk band, The 35th Street Gang, were mainstays of the 70s in and around the Hampton Roads area. Lenis himself had hits like,I Keep Coming Back for More,” andWorking for My Baby.” [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 24, 2014 - 4 comments

Dancing, from the Audubon Ballroom to Deep Space.

10 iconic mixes from the dancefloors of New York. "It’s the city that gave birth to disco, house music and hip hop, the home of iconic, seminal clubs like The Loft, Studio 54, Paradise Garage and the Sound Factory. If you were going to pick one city on earth where you could track the history of dance music through a series of classic sets, then New York would be it. Back in the early 90s, inthemix writer Jim Poe worked as a DJ in New York City, and here he’s selected ten iconic mixes from the history of NY clubs, tracking the city’s evolving sounds from Grandmaster Flash in 1978 to Francois K at Output this year."
posted by googly on Jan 9, 2014 - 51 comments

Why, yes, please Mr. Brown, by all means, take it to the bridge.

Here's forty four minutes and forty four seconds of James Brown: said to be the total of all his appearances on Soul Train.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 1, 2014 - 30 comments

mamako mamasa mamamakossa!

Let's celebrate the 80th birthday of Afrofunk pioneer Manu DiBango with a few of his groovy tunes, shall we? He made a splash way back in 1972 with a catchy (and rather influential) little number called Soul Makossa. A few years later, in 1982, another DiBango tune, also catchy as hell, might've made it onto a turntable or a dance floor near you: it was called Echos Beti. Aside from these two tunes, there's been lots, lots more from this very prolific Cameroon-born saxophonist, vocalist and bandleader, so I've included... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 12, 2013 - 5 comments

The Last Starfighter

A year ago a mysterious young man going by the name of Starcadian posted a surprisingly masterfully composed music video shot for $200 with half of a discarded movie prop cockpit. Other than a few songs on soundcloud, notably Girls Of Midnight which got some moderate blog attention a couple years ago, he hadn't really been on anyone's radar... [more inside]
posted by emptythought on Nov 14, 2013 - 18 comments

Last Week, Nile Rodgers Experienced Real Fear

The Hitmaker is Nile Rodgers' 1959 Fender Stratocaster. Last week, he left it on a train in NYC. (Warning: Autoplaying great music) Legendary Producer/Writer/Guitarist Nile Rodgers writes on his blog about the near-loss of one of the most famous instruments in music - "The Hitmaker," also known as the "World's Most Successful Guitar," which Rodgers played on hits by everyone from Chic, David Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran to Daft Punk. Oh, yeah, and that's The Hitmaker playing the funky riff sampled on Rapper's Delight, too. From a previous MeFi post, here's Nile Rodgers talking about music and, starting at the 55:40 mark, playing The Hitmaker and demonstrating some of the most famous riffs ever played. [more inside]
posted by The World Famous on Oct 15, 2013 - 35 comments

Elvis Costello and the Roots: 'There's no such thing as too funky'

Ahmir Thompson, aka ?uestlove from The Roots, and their producer, Steven Mandel, are secret "Elvis freaks." One of their early discussions about agreeing to their gig on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon was the possibility about playing with Elvis. The Roots took the job, and Elvis has now played on the show five times. From these collaborations, the seeds of something bigger grew, and that came to a very funky (and political) fruition with Wise Up Ghost, embedded as streaming tracks in this Guardian review, and available in a single stream from a fan on YouTube. If you'd like to hear more about how the "remixing" of some prior Costello pieces (Pills and Soap, National Ramson, and Hurry Down Doomsday, to name a few songs), Costello and Thompson spent about 40 minutes with NPR's World Cafe, or you can read their interview with the Guardian.
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 9, 2013 - 38 comments

Who is William Onyeabor?

William Onyeabor is, or was, a funk musician from Nigeria. He self-released 8 albums between 1978 and 1985 and then became a born-again Christian, refusing ever to speak about himself or his heavily rhythmic and synthesized music. Despite giving up music for a life in the church, Onyeabor can count Fourtet, Caribou and Damon Albarn as fans. The Luaka Bop record label is releasing World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor? next month
posted by misterbee on Oct 9, 2013 - 19 comments

Not in charge of finding treasure in the dark

Grapevine (The Reflex Stems ReVision) is a deeply funky version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's version of Heard it through the Grapevine remixed by French DJ Reflex, using just the original stems. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 4, 2013 - 28 comments

The guitars still twang, but the singer has left the room

What do you get when you put a band together out of ten, far too young, Australian hipsters? You get the groovy, funky, instrumental sound of The Cactus Channel, that's what.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 12, 2013 - 13 comments

Genre-Bending Covers

From the music website, Cover Me, Five Good Covers: five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song. Why not enjoy all new versions of Cars, Milkshake, Can't Help Falling In Love, The Sound Of Silence, Life In A Northern Town, Modern Love, You Shook Me All Night Long, Age Of Consent, Don't Fear The Reaper, Be My Baby, and much, much more. ( Cover Me previously)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 23, 2013 - 41 comments

yo2MTVRapstalgia

GangStarr - Manifest
Heavy D. & The Boyz - We Got Our Own Thang
Queen Latifah - Dance for Me
Kid 'N Play - 2 Hype
Slick Rick - Hey Young World
Salt-N-Pepa - Let's Talk About Sex
De La Soul - Me, Myself And I
Kwamé - The Man We All Know And Love
Pete Rock & C. L. Smooth - They Reminisce Over You
posted by y2karl on Aug 19, 2013 - 41 comments

The Staples Singers - I'll Take You There

From the 1973 Grammys, here are The Staple Singers - I'll Take You There [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Aug 9, 2013 - 36 comments

George Duke has died

Keyboard legend George Duke, known for his work with Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham, and Stanley Clarke, as well as for many solo projects, has died.
posted by thelonius on Aug 7, 2013 - 22 comments

AT THE DAWN OF THE DANCE APOCALYPSE

Janelle Monae's latest music video/single is a 60s-esque, funkadelic, symbol-heavy, all-white fur and all-female hammer to the head - THE DANCE APOCALYPTIC
posted by The Whelk on Jul 9, 2013 - 117 comments

The one-off garage rock and funk wonders of Plato Records, circa 1968

About 30 miles west of Charleston, West Virginia is a little town called Milton, which was the home to the Plato Records label back in the 1960s. According to Al Collinsworth, vocalist and co-songwriter for The Outcasts, Plato was intended to be an African-American music (Afrilachian) label, but the only known Plato releases are a handful of garage rock and funk singles from predominantly white bands, like The Outcasts' Loving You Sometimes. That particular track has seen an uptick in interest, since it has appeared on some recent mixtapes, including Diplo's Chasing the Dragon (MP3, streaming on Grooveshark). For more on those few known Plato recordings, Garage Hangover has interviews, information and promo photos from members. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 13, 2013 - 7 comments

Going Back to My Roots, Oh Yeh Soweto! Funky disco, covered and edited

In 1977, Lamont Dozier, Motown veteran, released his album Peddlin' Music on the Side, featuring "the Afro-centric disco hit" Going Back to My Roots. That sound was popular in the US, and also in South Africa, where veteran alto player Teaspoon Ndelu covered the song with his group Teaspoon & the Waves as Oh Yeh Soweto, "changing the lyrics and toughening up the beat, but with the same killer riffs!" The one fault with the song could be that it's only half as long as Lamont's original. Fear not, Dr. Horn has edited the track into an extended form, which you can stream or download from Soundcloud. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 2, 2013 - 12 comments

Chic - Good Times, I Want Your Love, Just Out of Reach and City Lights

Chic - Good Times
Chic - I Want Your Love
Chic - Just Out of Reach
Chic - City Lights [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 25, 2013 - 35 comments

The Mothership Connection

Minister Faust explains the meaning of George Clinton's Mothership
posted by Artw on May 2, 2013 - 33 comments

Say you love me or I’ll kill you!

Jun Togawa is sort of like what you'd get if you crossed Kate Bush and Mike Patton. Togawa, who became known in Japanese culture after appearing in a bidet commercial, was half of the electro-cabaret band Guernica, which sometimes sounded very classical and sometimes sounded very new wave and sometimes much stranger. Somewhat more straightforward is her rock outfit Yapoos, which similarly varies quite a bit in sound and style. Her solo work, unsurprisingly, is quite melodramatic, with some very interesting arrangements, both parodically poppy and funky. I particularly like her covers of All Tomorrow's Parties by the Velvet Underground, Brigitte Fontaine's Comme à la Radio, and – weirdly – Pachelbel's Canon.
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 21, 2013 - 14 comments

"Til you reach that..."

Stevie Wonder, in his prime. Jesus.
posted by timsteil on Mar 26, 2013 - 45 comments

J0hnny ''Gitar'' Wats0n - Livek0nzert 1977

On tour at the height of his powers - a Young John Watson indeed: Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson - Livekonzert 1977 [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 24, 2013 - 10 comments

The line between science fiction and true science is often thin

In 1990, Isaac Asimov was working on a TV series to bridge science fiction and science fact, "synthesizing his visionary ideas about where humanity is going." He passed away in 1992, and the series never progressed beyond the pilot, which was re-worked and released as the documentary Visions of the Future (YouTube playlist, via Brainpickings, which calls the video "essentially, the antithesis to the Future Shock [documentary] narrated by Orson Welles"). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 18, 2013 - 12 comments

One Nation Under a Court Order

What do the songs The Electric Spanking of War Babies, Uncle Jam, Hardcore Jollies and One Nation Under a Groove all have in common? Well, sure, they were all written (with a collaborator here and there) by Mr. George Clinton. But that's not all they have in common. As of now, the copyright in these booty-shaker workouts does not belong to the legendary P. Funk mastermind, but rather to the law firm of Hendricks and Lewis. Funk Classics Seized to Pay Off $1 Million Debt.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 6, 2013 - 34 comments

The Existential Adventures of Tim Maia

The Existential Adventures of Tim Maia
posted by Tom-B on Jan 6, 2013 - 8 comments

Farewell to funky diva Marva Whitney

Funk singer Marva Whitney, who was dubbed Soul Sister #1 by her mentor James Brown, has passed away at the age of 68. Backed by the whip-crack James Brown band (the JBs), Whitney's raw expression was just what the doctor ordered for those who wanted their funk uncut. Witness the supreme grooving goodness of It's My Thing (live TV appearance), Unwind Yourself, What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love To You, I Made a Mistake Because It's Only You, and Things Got to Get Better (another live TV appearance, with James Brown himself conducting the band and Whitney resplendent in platinum blonde afro). Here she is in a southern-flavored soul ditty recorded for Excello in 1972 called Live and Let Live. Later in her career she cut an album with a JBs soundalike band from Japan called Osaka Monaurail, which included a recreation of the James Brown hit Give It Up or Turnit a Loose. And here's a radio interview from 2006, in which she reminisces about meeting James Brown and working under his wing. Heaven is a funkier place tonight. RIP Marva Whitney. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 24, 2012 - 13 comments

Xmas Eve Eve Eve 2012 Xmas Present: Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson

Some say that surf guitar started here: Johnny Guitar Watson - Space Guitar
Young John Watson's first appearance on wax: Chuck Higgins & his Mellotones - Motor Head Baby
Also back in the day: Johnny "Guitar" Watson - The Bear
And not so far back in the day - a Frank Zappa jam with Tuva throat Singers, Chieftains and Johnny ''Guitar'' Watson [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 22, 2012 - 10 comments

y2funkysoultrainlive ( or, at least... lip synced )

Get Down On It:
Jean Knight - Mr Big Stuff
Marvin Gaye - Got To Give It Up
The Five Stairsteps - Ooh Child
Al Green - Tired of Being Alone
Shirley Brown - Woman to Woman
Joe Tex - I Gotcha
A Taste of Honey - Sukiyaki
Yellow Magic Orchestra - Firecracker
Five Star- All Fall Down
Eddie Kendricks - Happy
Aretha Franklin - Rock Steady
Al Green - Love and Happiness
The Staples Singers Come Go With Me
Sly & the Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

And as no Soul Train post would be complete without a line dance: Temptations - Papa Was A Rolling Stone [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 21, 2012 - 46 comments

Ah.... the name is Bootsy, Baby!

From the Summit in the Houston Astrodome, October 31, 1976:
Bootsy Collins - Ah... The name is Bootsy baby/Disco to go
Bootsy Collins - Psychoticbumpschool
Bootsy Collins - Another Point of View
Back in the day: James Brown & Bobby Byrd (on bass, Bootsy Collins) - Sex Machine & Soul Power
See also: Booty's Basic Funk Formula
Bootsy Lecture on the One: James Brown vs. Parliament [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 19, 2012 - 27 comments

Searching for Iran’s lost funk

"...it should be made clear that Tehran in the ’70s was not an equivalent to New Orleans, Chicago or Detroit. There was no funk haven per se, but within the Iranian pop world some tracks did appear, and those records are a rare treasure trove for funk aficionados." — Searching for Iran’s lost funk [more inside]
posted by furtive on Oct 11, 2012 - 7 comments

Hey Billy, where d'you get those sunglasses?

The 20 best Prince songs you've never heard. [more inside]
posted by muckster on Oct 4, 2012 - 19 comments

My name is GRiZ

GRiZ - Mad Liberation. Take a 21 year old bedroom producer from Michigan, raise them on the the internet with a near complete access to the history of modern music with a focus on electronic/dance and apparently you get this incredibly humanistic and cross-cultural album that's both homage, monument and appropriation of hundreds of influences in modern music in an incredibly dubby dubstep framework. (Free album download here.)
posted by loquacious on Sep 5, 2012 - 67 comments

Future Shock. Indeed.

'textbook definition of surrealism' In his epic new bio of James Brown, "The One"--an account of not just the man's life and music, but a panoramic view of African-American, southern and American political and cultural history of the 20th Century--author R.J. Smith briefly discusses "Future Shock," a dance show that Brown hosted in the mid-1970s. It aired on a pioneering Atlanta station, WTCG, a Ted Turner-owned UHF station that would become a satellite channel by the end of 1976. Along with the pay-only HBO (started in '75 in select markets), WTCG paved the way for a cable TV revolution. Its name would be changed to WTBS (otherwise known as Superstation WTBS) in 1979. [more inside]
posted by raysmj on Aug 14, 2012 - 13 comments

Too much talent for one man.

Here's Stevie Wonder playing some drums.
posted by empath on Jun 21, 2012 - 25 comments

Marva Whitney

Although she's not a household name, Marva Whitney is fondly remembered by funk devotees as one of the rawest, brassiest, most powerful divas the music ever produced. Along with fellow funk belters Lyn Collins and Vicki Anderson, Whitney made her name singing with the James Brown Revue for a few years, and her limited, much-sampled recordings for Brown-associated labels now fetch astronomical sums on the collector's market. - AllMusic
posted by Trurl on Jun 4, 2012 - 8 comments

James Brown's 1971 Olympia Concert

On March 8, 1971, James Brown performed at The Olympia in Paris. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 31, 2012 - 25 comments

He makes Jaws look like Flipper!

Here he comes... Super Shark! (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 29, 2012 - 20 comments

RIP Chuck Brown

Chuck Brown: DC Legend, Godfather of Go-Go and originator of some of the breakbeats that laid the foundation for hip-hop has passed away. Here's his live set at the 9:30 club from a few years ago. 2, 3, 4
posted by empath on May 16, 2012 - 43 comments

Funky Drum Machine

Rob Stenson plays clawhammer banjo. Jack Stratton plays a number of instruments. Together, they've built Funklet, a site where classic beats are transcribed and presented in a javascript drum machine (which only works in Chrome at the moment) for you to play with. Each page also has full audio of the beat in its native habitat. [more inside]
posted by hades on May 5, 2012 - 18 comments

#liberalmediabias

Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (ft. President Obama) - Stafford Loan Interest Slow Jam
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 25, 2012 - 57 comments

Prince's "Sign O The Times"

We shrugged when friends told us Prince's Sign "O" the Times was the greatest rock concert movie ever. There are limits to how great a rock concert movie can be, and we figured Jonathan Demme's--and Talking Heads'--Stop Making Sense had stretched them as far as they were liable to go. But even though Sign "O" the Times was directed by the artiste, whose previous cinematic exploits haven't exactly put him in Demme's class, Prince has come up with a contender. Where Demme goes for a sinuous, almost elegant clarity, Prince's movie is all murk, scuzz, steam, and, oh yeah, sex. With all due respect, which one sounds more like a real rock concert to you? - Robert Christgau [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Apr 20, 2012 - 31 comments

Bagpipe Soul!

Bagpipe Soul! Honey Blo on Chic-A-Go-Go. [SLYT]
posted by Slap*Happy on Feb 26, 2012 - 15 comments

ain't it funky now

North Korean People's Army Funky Get Down Juche Party
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 3, 2012 - 25 comments

R.I.P. Everything Man

The world just got a little less funky. Jimmy Castor passed away today. You might know him as the doo-wop Junior who replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers. You might know him forYou Might know his hits Troglodyte, Hey, Leroy, or maybe the Bertha Butt Boogie. You might even know his Magic Saxophone. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio on Jan 16, 2012 - 18 comments

Drown In a Lake of Diet Coke, I Got Cash

I Got Cash SLYT, NSFW lyrics
posted by jivadravya on Jan 12, 2012 - 19 comments

Doug Wimbish! Doug Wimbish!

Doug Wimbish plays bass.
posted by Trurl on Jan 9, 2012 - 22 comments

Larry Graham plays funk bass

Larry Graham plays funk bass. And part 2.
posted by joost de vries on Dec 30, 2011 - 27 comments

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